Ancient Caves, Temples, Beach & Hills
Package price On Request
Product Code : AGORA165
The 20-day Incredible Ancient Caves, Temples, Beach & Hills tour will begin in India commercial capital Mumbai. You will visit the ancient caves of Elephanta, Ajanta, Ellora, Karla & Bhaja. Temples in Nasik, Shirdi & Nanded. You will also explore the architecture of Golkonda, Bidar, Gulbarga, Hampi, AIhole & Pattadakkal. Unwind yourself on the Hippy loved beach of Goa & Ratnagiri, and enjoy the scenic beauty of Lonavala hill on Western Ghats.
Day 1: Mumbai
On arrival at Mumbai airport assistance & transfer to hotel (check in/out time 12pm).
Mumbai is disciplined by no time frame neither day nor night. Dazzling shopping arcades, exciting sport activity, nightclubs & discotheques, theatre, music & gourmet restaurants offers visitors a heady mix of all this and more.
Rest time free for personal activities. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Mumbai
Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Mumbai. Drive via Marine Drive one of the most beautifully laid boulevards in the city to reach Gateway of India. Board a ferry from here to reach Elephanta Caves (Monday closed). A flight of 100 steps takes you to the top of the hill where caves are located.
Afterwards cruise back to Gateway of India and then city tour. Drive pass CST & Parliament House. Visit Dhobhi Ghat to see the city famous open air laundry in action. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalay, a grade I Heritage Building of the city counted amongst one of the most prominent museums of India. The complex exhibits a myriad collection of ancient artefacts, artwork and sculptors of the country which give a unique insight into our past. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Mumbai - Nashik (170km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Nashik check in at hotel. Nashik the ancient holy city is known for its links to Ramayana the epic poem.
Visit Panchavati Temple complex on the bank of Godavari River which include Ram Kund where Lord Rama believed to have bathed in water tank. Shri Kalaram Sansthan Mandir an ancient shrine to Lord Rama, and Sita Gufaa caves.
Also visit Sundarnarayan Temple, ISKCON Temple & millennium old Pandavleni Caves.
Day 4: Nashik - Aurangabad (200km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Aurangabad via visiting Shirdi, known as home of revered spiritual leader Sai Baba. The Samadhi Mandir shrine has an ornate marble statue of Sai Baba, alongside his tomb. Close by are Dwarkamai, a mosque where Sai Baba once lived, and tree-lined Lendi Garden.
Arrive Aurangabad check in at hotel. Later visit Bibi ka Maqbara built in 1678 is a sons loving tribute to his mother, Panchakki which discharged water on the wheel to power the flourmill and grind grain for the pilgrims & Aurangabad Caves artificial caves that were dug out of soft rock during the 6th & 7th century.
Day 5: Aurangabad
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to visit Ellora Caves 34 monasteries & temples from 600 to 1000 AD, Grishneshwar Temple & Daulatabad Fort.
Later visit Bibi ka Maqbara built in 1678 is a sons loving tribute to his mother, Panchakki which discharged water on the wheel to power the flourmill and grind grain for the pilgrims & Aurangabad Caves artificial caves that were dug out of soft rock during the 6th & 7th century.
Day 6: Aurangabad
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to Ajanta (Monday closed). The Buddhist Caves of Ajanta were discovered by the British officers in 1819 while hunting tiger. Ajanta Caves were first mentioned in the writings of the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang who visited India between AD 629 and 645. The Caves at Ajanta are older than those at Ellora which date from about 200 BC to 650 AD. Thirty beautiful Buddhist Caves with mesmerizing sculptures and paintings depicting Buddha`s life as well the lives of the Buddha in his previous births. Five of these Caves are Chaityas (Place of worship) while the other twenty-five are Viharas (monasteries). Ajanta Caves are divided in two categories based on two schools of Buddhist thought - Hinayana Caves and Mahayana Caves.
Drive back to Aurangabad for overnight stay.
Day 7: Aurangabad - Nanded (260km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Nanded via visiting Aundha Nagnath (Nageshwaram Temple) built by the Seuna dynasty in 13th century. The first temple is said to be from time of the Mahabharata and is believed to have been constructed by Yudhishthira, eldest of the Pandavas. Temple building was of seven-storyed before it was sacked by Aurangzeb. Arrive Nanded check in a hotel.
Later visit Hazur Sahib Gurudwara one of the five takhts in Sikhism built at the place where Guru Gobind Singh Ji left his earthly life. The inner room of the gurdwara Angitha Sahib is built over the place where Guru Gobind Singh was cremated. Overnight at hotel.
Day 8: Nanded - Hyderabad (260km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Hyderabad check in at hotel.
Rest time free & easy to relax. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Hyderabad
Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Hyderabad, explore 400 year old metropolitan city teeming with bustling bazaars & Muslim monuments.
Visit Golconda Fort renowned for its diamond mines that have given the world famous Kohinoor and Darya-i-noor diamonds. The ancient fort complex of Golconda will charm you with its history, tinged with legends and anecdotes.
Qutub Shahi Tombs a group of small and big mosques and tombs built by the rulers of the Qutub Shah dynasty on a raised platform and have a dome-shaped structure.
Charminar built in 1591 by Quli Qutub Shah is an identifying landmark of Hyderabad. It is also famous for the market that sprawls around it called Laad Bazaar. Salar Jung Museum (Friday closed) a treat for tourists famous for being the third largest museum in the country, having the largest antiques collection dating back to the first century.
Chowmahalla Palace (Friday closed) the seat of the Asaf Jahi dynasty where the Nizams entertained their official guests and royal visitors. Birla Mandir made of pure white Rajasthani marble the temple beauty leaves you awestruck.
Also drive pass Hussain Sagar Lake one of the largest man made lake renowned for its monolith of Lord Buddha placed right at the center of the lake. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: Hyderabad - Gulbarga (280km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Gulbarga via visiting Bidar Fort one of the magnificent forts rebuilt by Sultan Ahmed Shah Wali of Bahmani Dynasty, when his capital was moved from Gulbarga to Bidar in 1430 AD along with a number of Islamic monuments. The Bidar fort is a specimen of the Persian architecture, surrounded by three miles long walls and comprising 37 bastions, triple moat & seven gates. Bahmani Tombs the 12 tombs of Bahmani Sultans are huge structures with beautiful arches, niches and lofty domes. The Rangeen Mahal built in the mid-16th century, the tile work and the granite with mother-of-pearl inlay work are the exclusive features of the citadel walls. Narasimha Jhira a wonderful cave temple situated on the outskirts of Bidar town dedicated to the lion god Narasimha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Temple is known for its natural beauty and is considered to be very sacred.
Continue drive to Gulbarga check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 11: Gulbarga - Hampi (280km)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Gulburga Fort a leftover of the Brahmani era, was originally built by Raja Gulchand. Later 15 towers were added by Allah-ud-din Bahmani in the existing structure of the fort. The fort contained 15 towers and 26 guns of which one was 8 metres long. Jama Masjid a 14th-century mosque in Fort complex which marks the establishment of the Bahmani Kingdom in the Deccan. Jama Masjid interior are similar to the Great Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba in Spain. Sharana Basaveshwara Temple built in the twelfth century, this temple is a marvel of Hindu stone carvings. The pillars, walls and towers of the site are covered with intricate carvings of Hindu gods, goddesses, demigods, damsels, animals and events from local lore. Tomb of Sufi mystic Khwaja Bande Nawaz a unique confluence of religious diversity. The Persian, Indo-Saracenic and Arabic influences on the building are evident from the dome and towers that surround the tomb.
Continue drive to Hampi check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 12: Hampi
Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Hampi an UNESCO world Heritage sites dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire on the bank of the River Tungabhadra. Although the city was destroyed by marauding Moghul invaders in the 16th century, much of it remains today. The vast site of monuments and ruins are a mute witness to an ear of glories, triumphs and tragedies. The ruins of Hampi are so majestic and imposing that they leave the visitor totally dumbfounded, awestruck and humbled.
Visit Hazara Rama Temple, Kings Balance, Mahanavami Dibba, Royal enclosures, Statue of Ugra Narasimha Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Vithala Temple Complex, Lotus Mahal & ASI Museum. Overnight at hotel.
Day 13: Hampi - Badami (180km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Badami.
Enroute visit Lakkundi a heaven of ancient temples ruins and step wells. It is a place of antiquarian interest with more than 50 ancient temples scattered all over the village & 101 stepped wells built during the rule of the Chalukyas, Seuna, Kalachuris and Hoysalas. These temples are most famous for their ornate and elaborate furnishing. And Gadag a place of historical importance, famous for its ancient Hindu & Jain temples and medieval architecture. Constructed between the 10th to 12th CE by the Kings of Chalukyan Empire, the Trikuteshewara Temple is famous for its style of architecture and the temple has three Shivalingas carved out of a single rock.
Arrive Badami check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Badami
Breakfast at hotel. Excursion to visit Aihole a historical site & home to over 125 beautiful Chalukyan temples and monuments from 6th to 12th century. Few important monuments in Aihole include the Durga Temple, Lad Khan Temple, Ravanaphadi Cave Temples, Huchimalli Temple, Meganagudi Group Temple, Gowda Temple and the Huchappayyagudi Temple amongst numerous others. And Pattadakal a treasure trove of Hindu and Jain temples complex built-in 7th and 8th century CE. The various temples that one must visit are Virupaksha Temple, Jain temple, Papanatha temple, Galaganath temple, and Sangameshwara temple.
Also visit Badami Cave consist of four separate temples, each holding intricate carvings & depictions. Badami Fort perched on the top of a cliff accompanied by two Shivalaya complexes dating back to the 5th century & watchtower atop hill. And Agastya Lake surrounded by red sandstone temples. Overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Badami - Goa (250km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Goa check in at hotel.
Rest time free and easy to relax on the beach. Overnight at hotel.
Day 16: Goa
Breakfast at hotel. City tour of Goa. Visit Old Goa monument the Basilica of Bom Jesus a 16th century church dedicated to infant Jesus housing the tomb of St. Francis Xavier. The other Churches in the same area are St. Cathedral, Church of Our Lady of Miracles, Church of our Lady of Rosary and Nunnery of St. Monica. The Aguada Fort built by the Portuguese on the mouth of the Mondovi River and a 4-storey Portuguese lighthouse oldest of its kind in Asia.
In South Goa visit Mangueshi Temple, Shanta Durga Temple & Margao the headquarters of South Goa.
Drive Pass the charming beaches such as Calangute, Dona Paula, Miramar and Baga Beach. Overnight at hotel.
Day 17: Goa - Chiplun (340km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Chiplun. Enroute you visit Sindhudurg Fort, an ancient fortress occupying an islet in the Arabian Sea off the coast. This imposing construction is spread over an area of 48 acres, with its massive walls standing tall against the crashing waves of the sea. The main entrance of the fort is hidden away in such a manner that no one can identify it from the outside. The Sindhudurg Fort is a tangible example of the Maratha foresight and resourcefulness. Built by Chhatrapati Shivaji, Fort has 42 bastions, which still stand tall and is surrounded by several smaller forts such as the Padmagad, Rajkot and Sarjekot Fort. A small temple dedicated to the Chhatrapati also finds a place within the bounds of the fort.
Arrive Chiplun check in at hotel. Rest time to explore the surrounding. Overnight at hotel.
Day 18: Chiplun - Lonavala (210km)
Breakfast at hotel. Visit Chiplun is a hill station in forested Western Ghats.
Visit Lord Parashurama Temple, a 300 years old active temple surrounded by stone walls. Behind the temple is another shrine built for Goddess Renuka, Parashuram`s mother. SawatSada Waterfall, located close to the Parashuram temple, can only be enjoyed during the monsoon season. Almost white in colour, its rippling sound and gushing scene make it a delight for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. Gowalkot Fort, built in 1690, it offers a pleasant experience for trekkers who, at the top can get heart stopping views of the river and area as a whole. This fort is guarded by the river on three sides and a trench on the fourth side.
Continue drive to Lonavala check in & overnight at hotel.
Day 19: Lonavala
Breakfast at hotel. Visit The Karla Caves and the Bhaja Caves the ancient Buddhist shrines in Lonavala. These caves ware carved from solid granite rocks around 160 BC. It has an Ashoka stambh at the entrance. The caves have rooms for the monks who resided here a prayer hall and a huge stupa. It also has the temple of Ek Veera the goddess of the Koli flock who are the original residents of Mumbai. They feature massive pillars and intricate relief sculptures. South of the Bhaja Caves sits the imposing Lohagad Fort with its 4 gates. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj used this edifice to keep all his treasures safe. This mighty structure of the Maratha empire is interlinked with the Visapur Fort and is one of the best hill fortresses of the region. West of here is Bhushi Dam, where water overflows onto a set of steps during rainy season. Overnight at hotel.
Day 20: Lonavala - Mumbai (80km)
Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Mumbai to board evening flight for your onward destination.
Assistance on arrival at airport.
19 Nights accommodation in selected price category hotels.
Daily breakfast at hotels. Any other meal (lunch/ dinner) if clearly mentioned in the itinerary).
Private air conditioned deluxe car for airport transfer, sightseeing and excursion as per program.
English speaking tour guide on sightseeing days (local guide in each city), as per program.
Monuments entrances and activities charges mentioned in the itinerary.
Bottled drinking water in car.
Hotels used or similar for 19 nights accommodation
Mumbai x 2 nights
3* - Hotel Suba Palace/ BW Hotel Sahil
4* - Sun-N-Sand Hotel/ Fariyas Hotel
5* - Trident Hotel/ ITC Grand Central
Nashik x 1 nights
3* - Lily Sarovar Portico/ Holiday Inn Express
4* - Express Inn/ Hi 5 Hotel
5* - The Gateway Hotel Ambad/ The Source at Sula
Aurangabad x 3 nights
3* - 7 Apple Hotel Aurangabad / Ginger Aurangabad
4* - Ambassador Ajanta / VITS Hotel
5* - WelcomHotel Rama International / Lemon Tree Hotel
Nanded x 1 night
3* / 4* / 5* - Gurudwara Sarai/ NRI Complex (Neat & clean)
Hyderabad x 2 nights
3* - Aditya Park/ Lemon Tree Hotel
4* - Lemon Tree Hotel/ Fortune Park Vallabha
5* - ITC Kakatiya, a Luxury Collection/ Trident Hotel
Gulbarga x 1 night
3* - Atharva Hotel/ Hotel Heritage Inn
3* / 5* - Citrus Hotel
Hampi x 2 nights
3* - Krishna Palace/ Kishkinda Heritage Resort
4* - Heritage Resort / Royal Orchid Central Keerti
5* - Hyatt Place/ Hampi Boulders
Badami x 2 nights
3* - Rajsangam Hotel/ The Heritage Resort
3* / 5* - Badami Court/ Krishna Heritage
Goa x 2 nights
3* - Varca Le Palm/ Lambana Resort
4* - Lemon Tree Hotel Candolim/ The Chances Resort & Casino
5* - Zuri Varca Goa White Sand Resort & Casino/ Alila Diwa Goa
Chiplun x 1 night
3* - Hotel Saisha/ Hotel Oasis
4* / 5* - The Riverview Resort
Lonavala x 2 nights
3* - Chandralok Hotel/ Viola Beacon Resort
4* - Countryside - Resort by Meritas/ Citrus Hotel
5* - Fariyas Resort Lonavala/ The Machan
Any air fare
Camera charges at monuments
Main Meals, Lunch or dinner unless mentioned
Expenses of personal nature like liquor, laundry, tips, telephone, fax, internet etc.
Or anything not mentioned above.